Life's a living hell and I want to think it's IBS

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At the end of July, I had a fit of severe constipation, excess gas, a 'swimming' feeling in my guts, and nausea. It lasted about a week or two. During that time I was put on aggressive laxatives, including GoLytely. Just typing that name out makes me flinch-I sat on the toilet for upwards of nine hours that day and I got nothing. After that I was given Magnesium Citrate, which also made my life hell for no reason. Eventually, the constipation passed on its own and I was recommended MiraLax for any future fits. 

The doctors at the hospital tested my blood, my urine, they did x-rays and pressed around and found nothing. (The doctor during that session severely overtreated me, so when he said he thought it was possibly a stomach ulcer, I didn't entirely believe him. We'll get back to that.)

After that my symptoms kinda winded down, but there was always some persistent discomfort. I can't quite recall exactly what went down, but basically the symptoms kept changing every week or so. I had bad bloating, the occasional shifting, excess gas from both ends, and just an overall feeling of unease. I was losing sleep every night because of the awful contractions in my guts as well as the awful acid reflux that burned at my throat whenever I laid down.

This is where I should mention my severe and often debilitating anxiety I've had my entire life. This all was made a thousand times more stressful due to it, and I found myself worrying about an early death. At eighteen years old, I was lying awake at night crying my eyes out wondering if I was going to see tomorrow. I looked up the symptoms of stomach ulcers and had a panic attack when they matched, but I didn't follow the prescription due to my inability to see a GI for multiple stupid reasons. I noticed one of the causes of stomach ulcers is NSAID pain reliever usage, namely Ibuprofen. I've used Ibuprofen quite a bit in my life due to my constant migraines, so certainly that could be a cause? Who knows.

As of now, the shifting in my guts only happens when I eat whole wheat. Within minutes it gets so awful I feel like stabbing my stomach out to make it stop. There's a persistent tight feeling in the left side of my abdomen that flares up and simmers down at random, the occasional stretch or mild stabbing pain in the same area, and I get stomach cramps pretty often. I pass gas through both sides a lot throughout the day, and my stools are loose and frankly really gross. Sometimes, if my abdominal pain is flared, it hurts to try and pass stools as if something is on the verge of bursting. Additionally, it sometimes feels full like it would be if I'd drank a small glass of water. It's extremely unpleasant and does absolutely nothing to soothe my anxiety. It's bothering me pretty badly right now but I ate some over-seasoned chicken a couple hours ago, so I'm wondering if it really is just a flare up.

My bathroom habits are really getting in the way of my social life. I can never tell when I'm going to need to sit on the toilet for thirty minutes, and the last time I was with a friend I ruined it by making her stop the bus early on so I could find a bathroom. I try to only eat foods with lots of fiber once or twice a week so I don't get overloaded.

I have a case of minor, untreated scoliosis that I suspect may be causing my back pain whenever I stand idle or sit. I find that my right side presses down a little more than my left whenever I sit straight up. I'm not sure if this could contribute but I felt like it was good information.

My biggest question is, does this sound familiar to anyone who's actually diagnosed with IBS? I've done the press test multiple times so I think I can rule out appendicitis, though when I press too far on any area it doesn't feel all that pleasant. I'm scheduled to see a doctor soon so I'm hoping to get some answers, but for now, is there anyone else who struggles with these symptoms? I'm sick of jumping the gun and convincing myself I'm going to die before I'm twenty. 

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  • Posted

    Hi angel-baby,

    I am sorry to hear your going through this, I'm hoping my long story below will give you some hope that IBS can be hell and it's nothing more serious. My very long story!... 4 months ago on my way home from work out of town I grabbed a bucket of hot chips, some dim sims and a coffee from the local petrol station (bad dietary choice I know!). About 5 hours later I got a severe belly ache (like no other before) followed by diarrhoea that was pretty much constant for an hour. I had severe nausea also but didn't vomit. I slept fairly well that night but did have to sleep sitting up with pillows behind me because of the nausea. The next morning my whole abdomen was that tender I could hardly move so I seen my GP and he suspected viral gastro bug or food poisoning and suggested I use buscopan for the pain and cramping. The buscopan will improve my discomfort. I feel like I never recovered and have had more doctors appointments and tripe to the ER then I can even count! After 4 weeks of dealing with it I had a CT scan with contrast, lower and upper abdomen ultra sound, blood tests, stool test and all came back clear. In the first 4 weeks I mentally dealt with it ok as I truely thought I had something viral and it would improve. After 5 weeks, I wasn't improving and started to feel very anxious and stressed about what was going on with me and I just want answers! After 8 weeks of putting up with I had a melt down in my GPs room and demanded an endocpopy and colonoscopy because I had enough. l was referred to a gastro specialist and had an endoscopy and colonscopy which showed a normal colonoscopy and mild gastritis in my stomach. I have severe acid reflux, all day, every day and to the point where it hurts my chest, under my arms, my tarot and a couple of days I had a burning feeling in my nose. My anxiety is pretty high following all of this and I am still convinced its something more. My bowel issues have been diagnosed as IBS and my bowel movements were diarrhoea for the first 6 weeks and now it varies. Some days I only go once and others like today I went 3 times! I get all kinds of other symptoms now also that change all the time so maybe my anxiety. Ranging from muscle weakness to leg cramps, head aches and all kinds. Next month I am having my ph levels checked on a 24 hour monitor to check out my reflux because I just can't handle it anymore. I really hope you start to feel better soon 

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  • Posted

    Hi I have a redundant colon and IBS, I'll list some things eat and take, Kefir probiotic drink milk and water ones, Turmeric 95% curcumin with piperine, sourdough bread, chia seeds, magnesium citrate supplement, check out the fodmap diet, you can find lots info online on these things relating to IBS.

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  • Posted

    Sounds like IBS which is made worse by anxiety. It doesn't sound like an ulcer because you are getting change of bowel habit which is typical of IBS. Food intolerances go with it, especially reactions to wheat which can cause bloating. Try a food diary to see what other triggers you have.   Some people react to onions, garlic, tomatoes and sauces which are used in seasonings. Try cooking from fresh and avoid processed foods.  Eat blandly. Avoid gassy drinks, and sorbitol. Broccoli, cabbage and brussels sprouts can also cause gas. Everyone is different.

    I have IBS and get stomach cramps that move about, constipation with occasional diarrhoea, back pain, and on off nausea,    My IBS was triggered by stress and anxiety. However, see your doctor to get some testing done to rule out other causes.  If everything is negative, IBS, can be diagnosed.  

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